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The Resource Center Child Identity Theft & Protection | article

Credit Monitoring Helps Watch Over Your Kids While on Spring Break

Many parents are constantly worrying about their child's safety in terms of physical danger and potential hazards to their identity — both of which might only contribute to the standard "hardships" of growing up that most kids experience. This is especially true of parents who have children that recently left home for the first time to live at college. Move-in day was probably an extremely tough time for both the new student and for mom and dad. The second semester has already begun, though, and, hopefully by now, all parties involved have settled into their new living situations.

However, even though the hard part — actually seeing a child off to school — is long over, there is a big milestone in every college student's life coming up that should have parents on high alert: spring break.

First-timers may not be aware of the dangers
Every year, thousands of freshman embark on their first spring break adventure with the new friends they've made over the past few months at school. Often, this means going to resort towns or beaches that are known hot spots for vacationing college students — as well as identity thieves. If your child is going away for their first spring break, you will want to make sure that they are making safe decisions and not putting themselves at risk for identity theft.

Since you aren't invited to tag along for the fun with your kid, you should look into having an identity monitoring service act as a pair of watchful eyes over your child's financial activity while they are away. Students may not always make the best decisions with their finances when they are out with their peers — whether other students put pressure on them to use the charge card or they simply lose track of how much they are using it.

Damage can be done by your kid or by a thief
An identity monitoring program will alert you to certain activity affecting your child's credit so that you can both take steps to reel the credit card use in before your kid ruins their credit score. Even more useful is the fact that if you determine this activity to be a sign of identity theft, you can begin to take steps to stop a thief from further ruining your child's credit.

Any time there is a large crowd, especially of revelers, individuals are at an elevated risk of credit card or identity theft because it is much easier to be distracted and lose track of their belongings. Make sure your student is educated about the dangers of identity theft by taking advantage of identity monitoring to keep track of their behavior while they are away.

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